Sunday, April 20, 2014Mostly Cloudy 8°C
City

The top 10 new Toronto condo developments of 2013

Posted by Dylan Giuliano / December 19, 2013

New Condos Toronto2013 has been another busy year in the Toronto real estate market. With the ongoing debate over the stability of the condo market raging on, one thing remains true, economically and environmentally viable and sustainable housing must be built for our city to continue to grow and function. Although the market as a whole still leaves quite a bit to be desired, these are the projects that brought something a little different to the table over the past year. And, more importantly, these are the projects that got us talking (arguing?) the most.

Here are the top 10 new condo developments from 2013.

SQ Condos
SQ despite its Spadina-Queen designation happens to be located in Alexandra Park. And more importantly it signals the first phase of a long overdue facelift and modernization of one of the city's oldest public housing complexes. This Habitat 67-esque mid-rise will give new residents the opportunity to invest in a neighbourhood sure to become quite a bit more livable post renovations. The enclave has suffered from poor planning for a long time, but so far this looks to be a step in the right direction for a neghbourhood so perfectly located for greatness.

Aqualina Bayside Condos
It may be too early to tell how this one will turn out, but this extremely underused section of Queens Quay East has long been overdue for an injection of life. With work going on all around this area by Waterfront Toronto, the new George Brown Campus next door, and with various other commercial and residential developments in full swing this area is posed for a new start. Aqualina with its modest 363 units (of the eventual 1,900) is the first residential phase in this specific development and touts its family friendly units, a plethora of amenities, and lots of outdoor space.

Smart House CondosSmart House Condos
If you thought your apartment was cramped, this latest Queen West Condo has taken things to the next level with its ergonomic twist on micro sized living. This minimalist tower just West of University will offer units starting around 289 sq ft. And with options like a bed that transforms into a desk and folds into the wall, extendable countertops, and hidden storage throughout you are promised endless hours of fun trying to control it all with the companion smart phone app.

Garrison Point CondosGarrison Point Condos
Garrison Point is another score in the good looking category, but it mostly makes it on this list because of the sheer scale of the project and the effect it may have on this huge parcel of mostly vacant and inaccessible land. Like most projects we review, there is always the chance things won't turn out as predicted, especially with such a large area getting an overhaul. But the developers seem to be making a bit more effort off the bat than we've seen go into similar "master-planned" areas like Liberty Village or Cityplace.

10 York Condos TorontoTen York Condos
This might be a controversial pick for now, but in the long run this high density neighbourhood south of Union Station will no doubt absorb the thousands of new residents in this building, and more (see: 1 Yonge, Ice Condos, Harbour Plaza). There's a good chance a great deal of the new residents in this 65 storey tower will work downtown, and walk to work or use the country's biggest transit hub just a few blocks north of here. The concerns about overcrowded aren't entirely unfounded but in a neighbourhood that is sure to continue to grow, there could be way worse things to replace this tired surface parking lot.

2013523-yonge-rich-lead.jpgYonge + Rich Condos
Even with the extremely unfortunate name (EXTREMELY!), details so far suggest that you neither need to be "young" nor rich to live here. With this undeniably attractive location you can expect a really decent commute plus some above average balcony sizes and numerous garden terraces.

River City Condos TorontoRiver City Phase 3
This building might look like it just survived a modernist earthquake or that someone forgot to push the dresser drawers back in, but this surprisingly interesting third phase in one the most popular east side developments stands to set a new tone for design in this developing area. The transformation of the West Don Lands along with a few other East side projects have so far shown some pretty standard architecture. So this uncouth building should hopefully send this easterly neighbourhood in a better direction than some other less than appealing areas.

Duke Condos TorontoDuke Condos
Soon to hit the heart of the Junction, Duke is important for a few reasons. One, in a neighbourhood relatively new to condo development the first few projects tend to set the tone for the flood that inevitably follows. Duke in this case seems to be the right project to do it. Quite a few other neighbourhoods have taken the "bullet" in this learning process. But with Duke's emphasis on a modest size, simple design, and varied units it's not the worst way to get things going in this now thriving creative enclave.

383 Sorauren383 Sorauren Condos
This may not be the most exciting or flashy project going, but that is really 383's strength. Located in the west end neighbourhood of Roncesvalles, this building brings some much needed housing options for those who enjoy this area's unique character, family friendly atmosphere and fairly decent transit and don't want to buy an entire house. This sort of reasonably sized building is something that the city needs more of in many neighbourhoods.

1 Yorkville1 Yorkville Condos
In a city plagued by half-hearted architecture, green glass and often overly trendy design, there's a big reason to celebrate a good design. However you may feel about another luxury tower shoving its way into the Yorkville area, it's hard to complain about a design that seems to go way beyond most of its neighbours. The 58 storey tower with its promise of a constantly changing exterior should prove a welcome sight to those who frequent the area, and possibly anger a few window washers in the process.

What was your favourite condo development of 2013?

Discussion

21 Comments

Ryan / December 19, 2013 at 08:23 am
user-pic
"But with Duke's emphasis on a modest size"

Puhlease, the only reason the building isn't going to be (much) higher is because we fought the developer and won.
Architorture / December 19, 2013 at 09:12 am
user-pic
If these are the top 10 condo developments in our fine city, we are still in a deep heap of trouble. The only two projects here that aren't run-of-the-mill, and completely dreadful, are Saucier and Perrotte's River City Phase 3 and Stephen Teeple's SQ. Everything else is boring, done before, and will serve this city no better than the current crop of ugly, cheap, poorly constructed, and architecturally insignificant condos that dot, what could have been, a beautiful waterfront and striking skyline. Instead it is frightful. Unfortunately, this city's architects, developers, and city officials have allowed bad design (Liberty Village/City Place Anyone?) to permeate every nook and cranny for so long, what is now considered 'good' wouldn't make the top 1000 list of 'okay architecture' in a number of other cities. As a professional in the world of architecture, I can officially declare that we suck!
Mat / December 19, 2013 at 10:28 am
user-pic
the render for Aqualina is so old.. does not look like this... are there any other oldr version of renders in the list?
Jimmy replying to a comment from Architorture / December 19, 2013 at 10:35 am
user-pic
Totally agree. Toronto developers and architects need to step their game up. So sad to see all the cookie-cutter-fish-tank condos going up near the gardiner. feels like I'm going through an aquarium when I'm going to the Aquarium. amirite?
Keith replying to a comment from Architorture / December 19, 2013 at 10:36 am
user-pic
After such a sharp criticism, I can't wait to see architectural, design and construction projects you accomplished, they must be amazing, non-boring, significant, non-ugly, not cheap, and well constructed. Right?
Montreal Exile / December 19, 2013 at 10:45 am
user-pic
The fact that you have a regular column that actually lionizes "CONDOS" (and now this top 10 list) speaks volumes at how a good portion of this city is oblivious to how hideous the architecture in this city is. I am not an architect but in my short time in this city I cannot believe the haphazard and perfunctory way condos seem to have sprung out of the cement without any sense of continuity or seamless integration of any surrounding buildings. The majority of new developments I've seen seem to be plunked down or squeezed into a space that looks completely incongruous to its surroundings.
jameson / December 19, 2013 at 11:05 am
user-pic
There's more to a building that how it looks. What's most important is that building fits into the community. Not every building can be designed by bjarke ingels...
BOYCOTTGREENGLASS / December 19, 2013 at 11:21 am
user-pic
"green glass and often overly trendy design". Finally!!! I feel validated...someone else in this city has recognized the issues plaguing our city's architecture. It sounds stupid but it's true. DO NOT BUY CONDOS WITH GREEN GLASS. Invest your dollars in great architecture and watch this city blossom.
SousedBergin / December 19, 2013 at 11:39 am
user-pic
Aesthetics aside the floor to ceiling glass is extremely energy inefficient and costs a fortune in maintenance. Majority condo projects will become slums due to the awful quality and cheap materials.

And I was disappointing the Giraffe Condos never got built at Dundas West and Bloor, that corner could certainly use more consumers and the massive empty building in place serves no one.
Kate / December 19, 2013 at 11:51 am
user-pic
Volt condos (Runnymede & Annette) seem to fit in well with the 'hood; I was pleasantly suprised when the hoarding came off a few weeks ago. It's not over-sized and doesn't drown out the existing retail that surrounds it.
jon / December 19, 2013 at 11:52 am
user-pic
I am very interested to see how the Lower Don lands / Canary District project comes together. The (attempted) investment into an actual liveable community by many different partners makes this seem like a very different project than others (hey, Cityplace). The PanAm games, George Brown, YMCA, acres of parkland, the TCHC and Waterfront Toronto are actually (hopefully) trying to do something more than just sell glass boxes.
Architorture replying to a comment from Keith / December 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm
user-pic
Keith: Every project typology has its challenges and as designers we try to address them the best we can. The fact is that architects at local ‘condo firms’ like Page + Steele, EI Richmond, Aa, etc. should be called out on their inability to stand up to developers and push quality design and construction. Would you like me to go on all day about how garbage window wall systems are? Enough is enough. I’ve worked for a condo firm before, the biggest one in Toronto, and I couldn’t stand it. In all honesty, their constant cut and paste methodology makes me cringe. It’s all about the mighty dollar. What do you expect when condo projects see the smallest percentage on fees in the whole of architecture. What a joke.
Josee / December 19, 2013 at 07:53 pm
user-pic
Nice rendition and photos of those projects. Thank you. It is a strong rental market for condos in Toronto.
Josee
BillyO / December 20, 2013 at 07:32 am
user-pic
Crappy Smart House on Queen should be removed from the list and replaced with it's polar opposite: 88 Scott St, one of the few condos with proper 3 bedroom units (1600 sq ft) and a reputable builder Concert (they done an excellent job with The Berzcy condo).

Given how crappy the lot that Ten York will be built on, I'd say that's a a good a use of land you'd find anywhere in any city. It's sandwiched between two highway ramps (though one will eventually come down).
Teresa Westlake / December 20, 2013 at 09:25 am
user-pic
I noticed your Aqualina at Bayside image is incorrect.
moira romano / December 20, 2013 at 09:26 am
user-pic
This is an interesting article and probably would have been better titled something other than the Top 10 for 2013 - a very great accolade. The article does highlight architecture and rebirth in Toronto, a city that certainly can do with having the spotlight on the good, the bad and the ugly. I am very partial to L Tower of course, designed by internationally acclaimed Daniel Libeskind. It is not only amazing from the outside but the quality and beauty on the interior is very special. Visit www.castlepointnuma.com for a look at the L Tower and Backstage projects.
Ken / December 20, 2013 at 10:35 am
user-pic
What about 365 Church by Menkes. Nearly sold out in a few months. Great location.
Mark / January 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm
user-pic
What about High Park Condos, this project is in the heart of this neighbourhood and is rich in amenities and upgrades. Daniels Corp. did a fantastic job on the layouts of these unit, which are great for owners and investors. Daniels also did a great job on Cinema Towers which accounts for top of the line architecture. Visit www.condoblinds.com for a look at the Cinema Towers project.
Ted / February 13, 2014 at 03:00 pm
user-pic
Great different types of architectural Toronto condos here in your post, however I am not a big fan of giraffe type condos.
Toronto Condos / February 13, 2014 at 03:02 pm
user-pic
Totally agree. Toronto condos developers and architects need to step their game up. So sad to see all the cookie-cutter-fish-tank condos going up near the gardener.
John / April 1, 2014 at 09:53 am
user-pic
For new development and resale listings check out - http://www.torontocondoteam.ca

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal